World women’s doubles No. 8 Selena Piek and Eejfe Muskens bring their class act here as they grace the 13th FDG Cup Badminton Championships, which unfolds on Thursday at Power Smash Badminton Center in Makati.
The Dutch aces, coming off a silver medal feat in the recent European Badminton Championships, are raring to showcase their skills and talent before local fans as they go up against Kennevic Asuncion, the first Filipino to qualify for the World Badminton Championships, and Robinsons Land Corp. president Frederick G. Go in exhibition matches at Robinsons Place Manila on Sunday.
The 2014-15 winners of the Dutch National Badminton Championships also turned in a pair of runner-up finishes in the 2015 Canada Open and the recent Syed Modi International Grand Prix in India.
The Dutch duo’s presence is expected to generate interest not only from the competing players but also from badminton fans and enthusiasts expecting no less than a world-class act from the two aces.
The event has lured some of the world’s top players the past 12 years, including Malaysian Lee Chong Wei, Peter Gade of Denmark, former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat, Japanese ace Mizuki Fujii, Chinese aces Wang Lin and Wang Xin and Malaysian top doubles players Kien Keat Koo and Boon Heong Tan.
Meanwhile, women’s and men’s singles matches kick off hostilities at 9 a.m. at Powersmash tomorrow with Aldreen Concepcion clashing with Marinel Diansay, Sam Ramos colliding with Jochelle Alvarez, Ghiselle Bautista battling Meghan Cruz, Maxine delos Santos facing off with Shane Salvador, Princess De Silva squaring off with Marina Caculitan, Therese Tumbali mixing it up with Susmita Ramos and former No. 1 Malvinne Ann Alcala testing the mettle of Jeline Masongsong and former national champion Bianca Carlos trading shots with Luisa Baldos.
Defending men’s singles Open champion Mark Alcala likewise opens his title retention drive against Lawrence Palomer at 10:10 a.m. with No. 2 Kevin Cudiamat tangling with Lanz Zafra at 12:05 p.m.
Also on tap in the busy day-long schedule are the men’s and women’s Open doubles
Spicing up the event is the Invitational division, composed of employees and the invited business partners of RLC with seven categories on tap, including Elite, Class A, B, C, D, E and F with a maximum of 224 seeing action.
The elims and quarterfinal rounds are slated June 9, 10 and 11 at Power Smash with the semifinals and finals to be played at Midtown Atrium of Robinsons Place Manila on June 12.
The traditional awards rites will be held Century Park Hotel, also on June 12, starting at 7 p.m. with special celebrity guests, including Gretchen Ho, Yeng Constantino and Daniel Matsunaga, gracing the mall event. Maja Salvador will host the awards rites with Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola as special guest performers.